Illuminati in popular culture

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The Eye of Providence above an unfinished 13-step pyramid appears on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States and the U.S. dollar bill.

Founded by Adam Weishaupt in Bavaria in 1776, the Illuminati have been referred to in popular culture, in books and comics, television and movies, and games. A number of novelists, playwrights and composers are alleged to have been Illuminati members and to have reflected this in their work. Early conspiracy theories surrounding the Illuminati have inspired various creative works, and continue to do so.

Books and comics[edit]

Television and film[edit]

  • In the 1986 comedy film The Whoopee Boys, the "Bavarian Illuminati" is a group of men who learn how to charm their way into a high-society lifestyle.
  • In Simon West's 2001 film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, a group of high-society villains call themselves Illuminati, developing a plan to rule the world. Along with Lara Croft's father, they claim that the Illuminati have existed for four millennia for this purpose.[11][12]
  • In several episodes of the Walt Disney animated series Gargoyles, one of the major antagonists of the series, David Xanatos, was revealed to be a member of the Illuminati,[13][14] and headed by that series' version of Peredur fab Ragnal, the son of Gawain.
  • The History Channel series Brad Meltzer's Decoded featured Illuminati author Mark Dice, who met with the show's investigators to discuss the Illuminati and their operations today.[15]
  • The Illuminati is parodied in an episode of American Dad! called "Black Mystery Month", in which the "Illuminutty" is a secret organization involving the origin of peanut butter.
  • They are also parodied in The Cleveland Show, where hip-hop celebrities form an organization called the hip-hop Illuminati.
  • Bill Cipher, an antagonist demon character in the show Gravity Falls, is modeled after the Illuminati's supposed symbol, but also has arms, legs, and a top hat.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look, a British sketch comedy show, contains a skit about the "Inebriati", a secret society that controls the world through the aid of maintaining a state of mild drunkenness around one and a half drinks at all times.



Accord to Brian McManus, the book Behold A Pale Horse was popular among rappers in the 1990s.[18]

List of songs featuring the word "Illuminati"[edit]

... You think illuminati's just a fucking conspiracy theory?
That's why conservative racists are all runnin' shit
And your phone is tapped by the Federal Government
So I'm jammin' frequencies in ya brain when you speak to me
Technique will rip a rapper to pieces indecently
Pack weapons illegally, because I'm never hesitant
Sniper scoping a commission controlling the president ...

"Illuminati wanted my mind, soul, and body
They ask me would I trade it for all for a Maserati"[19]

"Guess they find it odd how a nigga beat the odds
No Illuminati never been a fan of Satan"[19]

"Y'all haters corny with that Illuminati mess"</poem>

“Since y’all claim I’m Illuminati, tell me why would you try me?
Kennedy, John F., or Bobby
Almost caught Reagan, but they stopped us at the lobby
And that was broad day, so how the fuck you gon’ stop me?”

  • Hopsin – "Nocturnal Rainbows"

"...The change he's making isn't good, that's just how you conceived it
It's like we all broker than ever, it's due to reasons
Dealing with self-beneficial plans and the movement he's with
Illuminati, or whatever the fuck they go by
They’re the reason real shit happens, and we don’t know why”

  • Gamma Ray is a metal band which has created an album about the New World Order conspiracy theory called No World Order. The first song, "Introduction", has the following lyrics:

You've come to take control
You can take my heartbeat
But you can't break my soul
We all shall be free

You'll never take control
Your new world order
Will lead to none at all
We all stand before you as one
Heaven is for everyone
To be free from the dark”

  • Madonna – "Illuminati" – released on iTunes on 20 December 2014. The chorus includes the lyric: "It’s like everybody in this party's shining like Illuminati." Two days later she commented that she considered Illuminati to refer to enlightenment thinkers, rather than a conspiratorial group.[20]

The belief of the influence of the Illuminati can be considered a conspiracy theory, a form of engaging in collective behavior. Value-added theory, a term coined by Neil Smelser, can be used to explain the prevalence of the Illuminati in rap lyrics.[21] Structural conduciveness, which is established by the shared culture of hip hop, provides the first step for a rumor to occur. The vehicle of hip hop being used to spread conspiracy theories is not new due to the history of mistrust that is present between the black community and the government.[22] Structural strain is provided by the economic disparities that exist between the black community and the rest of America. The theory of the Illuminati influencing hip hop is then used as a way to explain why some make it out of the 'hood and some do not. Accelerated pluralism is established through the use of information communication technologies spreads the generalized belief that the Illuminati influence hip hop.[23] The belief of the Illuminati influencing hip hop is so engrained in pop culture society that rappers such as Meek Mill have to say "I don't have to join the illuminati just to get a new Bugatti",[24] just to prove that he is free from external masonic influences.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hogle, Jerrold E. The Cambridge Companion to Gothic Fiction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-521-79124-3. pp. 51–55
  2. ^ Gothic immortals: the fiction of the brotherhood of the rosy cross by Marie Mulvey Roberts, passim.
  3. ^ Roberts.
  4. ^ Baldick, Chris. In Frankenstein's Shadow: Myth, Monstrosity, and Nineteenth-century Writing, ISBN 978-0-19-812249-4. p.36
  5. ^ Mary Shelley: Her Life, Her Fiction, Her Monsters, Anne K. Mellor, pp. 73, 83–84.
  6. ^ "Foucault's Pendulum (review)", New York, 6 November 1989, p. 120
  7. ^ Dice, Mark (2005). The Resistance Manifesto, The Resistance, San Diego, ISBN 0-9673466-4-9, p. 305
  8. ^ . Philippine Daily Inquirer. May 2, 2005,31744266. Retrieved 30 September 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ Altner, Patricia (1998) Vampire Readings: An Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, ISBN 978-0-8108-3504-7, p. 60
  10. ^ The new inquisitions: heretic-hunting and the intellectual origins of modern totalitarianism By Arthur Versluis, pp. 121–122.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger (2004) Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2004, Andrews McMeel, ISBN 978-0-7407-3834-0, p. 362
  12. ^ Pocahontas in the Alps: Masonic traces in the stage works of Franz Christoph Neubauer, Chris Walton. Musical Times; Autumn 2005, pp. 50–51.
  13. ^ Dice, Mark (2009). The Illuminati: Facts and Fiction, The Resistance, San Diego, ISBN 0-9673466-5-7, p. 371
  14. ^ Cotter, Bill. The Wonderful World of Disney Television: A Complete History, ISBN 978-0-7868-6342-6, p. 280
  15. ^ The History Channel (December 2010). "Brad Meltzer’s Decoded - Episode Guide".  Mark Dice is the guest for the Statue of Liberty episode, originally airing on December 16, 2010 at 10/9c
  16. ^ Conspiracy theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture Mark Fenster, University of Minnesota Press, 2008. pp. 173–178
  17. ^ "The Secret World". Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  18. ^ McManus, Brian. "The Illuminati: Conspiracy Theory or New World Order?". Archived from the original on April 20, 2015. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Illuminati Songs: 33 Lyrics About The Secret Society". 
  20. ^ [1]
  21. ^ Locher, David (2002). Collective Behavior. pearson. pp. 39–54. 
  22. ^ Gosa, Travis L. (2011-06-01). "Counterknowledge, racial paranoia, and the cultic milieu: Decoding hip hop conspiracy theory". Poetics. 39 (3): 187–204. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2011.03.003. 
  23. ^ Bimber, Bruce (1998-01-01). "The Internet and Political Transformation: Populism, Community, and Accelerated Pluralism". Polity. 31 (1): 133–160. JSTOR 3235370. doi:10.2307/3235370. 
  24. ^ "Wale (Ft. Meek Mill, Pill, Rick Ross & Teedra Moses) – Self Made". Genius. Retrieved 2016-05-06.